Tuesday, April 19, 2005


This is what's currently on my bedside, er, table. Since I have a futon-cum-air cushion for a bed, technically what I have is a bookrest beside me. I read PJP2's Crossing the Threshold of Hope in high school, and this best seller is now what I'm reading. However, the cover of my copy is different (Asian release?). It uses the photo I used in my Farewell, Father blog (see below, April 2). Moving slowly for now because it's back to work and we are expecting guests.

Allow me to quote a review of the book by Jamie Doward of The Guardian (March 13, 2005):

"How much longer can Karol Wojtyla's suffering continue? It is a question asked almost daily as the world awaits the news that Pope John Paul II has died. Just when the frail pontiff seems to have no energy left, he defies the pessimists and rises from his hospital bed to reassert his influence over the Catholic church.

It is timely, then, that as camera crews wait on standby for news of his death that he should choose to publish a modest reflection on his life. Running to just 224 pages, Memory and Identity: Personal Reflections could never do justice to a life that has spanned the Nazis' invasion of the Pope's native Poland to the current situation in Iraq.

But what this short memoir will do is allow John Paul II to establish a dialogue with scholars long after he is dead. Each short chapter covers a key theme that has emerged during his lifetime, from the horrors of totalitarianism to the reunification of eastern and western Europe.

There are discussions devoted to the nature and limit of evil, freedom, patriotism; the nation state; the Enlightenment and Europe. As he attempts to use his memoir to square Christianity with modernity, thinkers as diverse as Descartes, Marx and Sartre are name-checked.

This does not make for an easy read and sometimes the memoir resembles a manifesto, the last act of a king determined to guide his subjects once he is gone. As the Pope observes towards the end of the book: 'Humanity is called to advance beyond death, even beyond time.' On this, we can all agree."

Here's hoping I can finish this soon. I have a 30-book backlog as of this month. Sigh. Now, more than ever, I really wish there were like 8 or 10 of me, each "me" doing something else. Now, wouldn't that be swell!

Monday, April 11, 2005


April marks my 4th year of living in Manila. Four long years of discovering, surviving, finding, losing, learning, living. Manila has been all that to me, and more. While I have grown to love other cities and places where I've spent more of my time in - Davao (my birthplace), Mexico (elementary days), Cagayan de Oro (college days), and Cebu - Manila is now home to me as well. Four years, and yet still so many things to learn and know about this megalopolis.

Cheers, Manila! To more good times together!

Flying into Manila

A promotional poster for Qantas' Manila destination (1955)

City of endless surprises.
Binondo Church

Dragons in Binondo

Old and frayed Carriedo

Me in Malate (2004)

Tuesday, April 05, 2005


Don Quixote for modern readers

Russia honors Miguel Cervantes Saavedra and his immortal work Don Quixote of La Mancha, on a commemorative stamp

To celebrate the 4th centenary of the publication of Don Quijote de La Mancha, Instituto Cervantes invites the Spanish speakers and students of Manila to participate in a public reading of the immortal novel. 126 Chapters, 1072 pages, approximately 50 hours of continuous reading... come and sign up! Be a part of this unique event which will culminate with a Churros con chocolate Breakfast Party for all readers on Sunday morning (24th of April).

Instituto Cervantes (Manila)
For more information, please call Instituto Cervantes at 526-1482 to 85 (look for Liza).
Apr 22, 2005 to Apr 24, 2005 - 11:00am

Sunday, April 03, 2005


Invitations are already out from the Asian Professional Exchange (APEX) re IMELDA, THE MUSICAL to be performed at the David Henry Hwang Theater, 120 North Judge John Aiso Street,Los Angeles,California on Thursday, May 12, 8:00pm to 10:00pm.

To be presented by East West Players!, the US' leading Asian American theatre company, it will be a musical biography of the First Lady of the Philipines. A pre-show reception will be held at 6:00p.m. in Little Tokyo.

Aaron Takahashi, Andrea Apuy, Freddie Sulit and Teresa Huang in
the adaptation of the Filipino folktale, "The Rich Man and the Poor
Man" as part of East West Players' Theatre for Youth touring program ASIAN PACIFIC TALES.

Here's a quote from the invite:

"Does the story of the First Lady of the Philippines go beyond the shoes? In this musical biography, an Imelda emerges aggressive, naïve and ultimately discovers that her husband’s newfound power is a means to obtain everything she was once denied. Thief or political ploy? Greed or need? The story continues to fascinate. This production was developed by East West Players and Academy for New Musical Theatre."

Tim Dang, East West Players’ artistic director who will also direct the production, said in an exclusive interview with Inquirer Entertainment that Imelda will concentrate on the “time when she (Imelda) ran for Miss Manila to when she and Marcos were flown to Hawaii”.

Dang said the musical “will have the tone of Evita with more light and funny parts. It will be reality-based but theatre can bring a magical and surreal touch that film or TV cannot present. I look forward to exploring that magical part of the musical.”

Liza del Mundo plays the role of the Madame, Giovanni Jose Ortega as Ferdinand, and Myra Cris Ocenar as Cory Aquino.

Will Imelda win the hearts of theatre goers like this did? Abangan!

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Buhayin ang Maynila